Meet Burberry’s Compositing Team

Meet the people behind our award-winning work across the globe. Up next are our lead-compositors based in Bangalore, Sabanayagam Veerasekaran​ and Manideep Sanisetty. The award-winning duo digitally crafted Burberry’s 2021 festive showstopper, and brought various elements of the production together. We sat down with them to find out more about their work.
Community December 20, 2021

How did you feel when you found out you’d be working on Burberry’s global festive campaign, Open Spaces?

Sabanayagam: When I first saw the offline, I was amazed to see how the commercial was filmed with the artists performing acts by hanging off huge cranes! I’d never seen anything like this before, I was so excited to be part of the creative masterpiece.

Manideep: Firstly, I was curious to know Burberry’s new concept as they usually have unique ideas and thoughts. Secondly, my work on previous Burberry campaigns won many high-profile awards, including a VES Award for Best Compositing. With this in mind, I became extremely excited to work on the latest edition. I’m so proud to have worked on one of the key shots in the film (the antigravity flying scene)! 

What was the process/creative approach like creating this piece of work?

Sabanayagam: Throughout the six days of filming (split over two weeks during the UK summertime), there were overcast skies, bright sunlight, and sunset skies – all these elements needed to flow seamlessly together in the film. With multiple 360 sky plates captured on set through digital and 35mm formats, I was tasked to composite all elements into the scenes, making sure to balance the sunrise to sunset story. 80% of the shots had sky replacements and we added clouds to some full sunshine shots to match the edit.  

Manideep: The scale of the project was huge and the photorealistic aesthetics needed to be brought into one seamless continuous shot. To create the scene there were several individual tasks involved such as-camera tracking, stitching the cameras, selecting the right plates of wheat field movement and matching the timings and lighting, keying, multiple sky DMPs’, rotoscoping, and finally comping it.  

Were there any challenges you encountered whilst constructing this spot and what were the creative solutions? 

Sabanayagam: The first wind scene involved blending the plate of the actors walking up through the field. Multiple helicopter plates were speed ramped and selected movements of the wheat composited together to give the illusion of the wind traveling towards the group. A final plate of the helicopter was shot with the camera panning back around to add movement in the field as we transitioned back to the hero actor now on the wire rig. We combined multiple plates to achieve one seamless shot, handheld camera movement was tracked and applied to the final composite. 

Manideep: The biggest challenge whilst creating the shot with the actors flying in the sky, was to stitch the two shots together and creating a new shot. While stitching the shot, I used fragments from several takes and layered them together in a single shot. Another challenge was to achieve uniformity disrupted by the change in time from the start to the end of the shot, to do this we used multiple sky DMPs’ and tracked them back. 

Can you highlight any unique concepts throughout the ad?

Manideep: Antigravity and making people fly is so surreal and bringing that to reality is one of the most unique concepts I have worked on. Also, it’s extremely unique to shoot using cranes and helicopters, this aspect made the whole experience look more realistic.

Get in touch with our team if you would like to discover more or would like to discuss a potential project.